Celebrate National Doughnut Day DIY-Style
First there were cupcakes, then buttercream-filled macarons. More recently, the Cronut has taken center stage in the realm of sugary treats. It may be impossible to predict what the next confectionary craze will be, but I am thinking that it’s time for the artisanal doughnut craze to hit Austin.
The new cookbook, Homemade Doughnuts: Techniques and Recipes for Making Sublime Doughnuts in Your Kitchen, should prepare home cooks for when that craze hits. The owner of Atlanta’s Sublime Doughnuts, Kamal Grant presents a complete how-to for every type of sweet bready fritter. I am not talking about the Krispy Kreme sugar bombs your co-workers bring to the office each Friday morning. Grant’s doughnut recipes are honest, original, and artisanal. Think yeast raised doughnuts with blueberry filling and lemon thyme glaze, or waffle doughnuts with bourbon icing and candied bacon. The introductory chapters lay out the history and the alchemical process behind doughnut preparation of every stripe.
Grant starts with yeast doughnuts, which are America’s most popular variety, but are tricky for the home cook to master. He offers tips and graphic guides for how to make these perfect. He then takes on the cake doughnut, which if not done properly ends up leaden and tasteless. His best tip for terrific cake doughnuts: Get a doughnut dispenser, which saves you from overburdening the dough with flour, and keeps the fried dough from becoming too heavy.
Grant’s cookbook also has recipes for fried pies, beignets, zeppole, and churros among other types of sweet global fritters. Nearly half the book is devoted to glazes and fillings. Once these are mastered, Grant encourages home cooks to experiment with different doughnut styles and flavor combinations. There is a reason, Grant shows us, that doughnuts and fritters are so universally loved.
Homemade Doughnuts: Techniques and Recipes for Making Sublime Doughnuts in Your Kitchen
by Kamal Grant
Quarry Books, 176 pp., $24.99
Recipe Excerpts (Courtesy Quarry Books)
OLD-FASHIONED “CAKE DOUGHNUTS”
2 1/2 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
½ cup (100 g) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons (4.5g) nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (235 ml) milk
½ cup (112 g) unsalted butter, melted
4 cups (940 ml) vegetable oil, for frying
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, milk, and melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Rest the dough for 10 minutes.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough comes together to form a ball. Roll out the dough to about 1/8-inch (2 cm) thick. Cut the dough using a floured doughnut cutter or a round cookie cutter.
Pour the oil to a depth of 3 inches (7.5 cm) into an electric fryer or deep saucepan and heat to 375°F (190°C). Place three or four doughnuts in the fryer and cook for 1 1/2 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for 1 1/2 minutes. Fry the holes separately, making sure they are submerged in the oil, about 2 minutes total. Remove from the fryer and place on paper towels or a rack to cool and drain. Yield: Makes 12 to 15 doughnuts.
SALTED CARAMEL ICING
Salted caramel has become a very popular flavor found in ice cream and cupcakes. There are entire food lines based on this delectable combination of sweet and savory. We hope you’ll enjoy it on your doughnuts, and whatever else you may have around the kitchen!
1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
3/4 cup (168 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (120 g) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
Briefly stir together the granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until the mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Remove from the heat and slowly add the butter, cream, and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.
Combine the caramel, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a large bowl and mix until completely incorporated and lump free. Cover and refrigerate before using.
Yield: Makes 1 1/2 to 2 cups (355 to 470 ml).